Breaking News Bar
updated: 8/9/2013 7:40 AM

Police warn of booby-trap car in search for teen

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • This composite photo provided by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows: James Lee Dimaggio, 40, left, Ethan Anderson, 8, and Hannah Anderson, 16, whose mother, Christina Anderson, 42, was one of two people found dead in a house fire Sunday night. Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for Dimaggio, who is suspected of abducting Hannah Anderson and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her brother Ethan.

      This composite photo provided by the San Diego Sheriff's Department shows: James Lee Dimaggio, 40, left, Ethan Anderson, 8, and Hannah Anderson, 16, whose mother, Christina Anderson, 42, was one of two people found dead in a house fire Sunday night. Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for Dimaggio, who is suspected of abducting Hannah Anderson and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her brother Ethan.
    Associated Press

  • Associated PressJames Lee DiMaggio, 40, left, Ethan Anderson, 8, and Hannah Anderson, 16, whose mother, Christina Anderson, 44, was one of two people found dead in a house fire Sunday night, Aug. 4, 2013. Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for DiMaggio, who is suspected of abducting Hannah Anderson and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her brother Ethan.

      Associated PressJames Lee DiMaggio, 40, left, Ethan Anderson, 8, and Hannah Anderson, 16, whose mother, Christina Anderson, 44, was one of two people found dead in a house fire Sunday night, Aug. 4, 2013. Amber Alerts expanded to Oregon and Washington as authorities searched for DiMaggio, who is suspected of abducting Hannah Anderson and wanted in the death of the girl's mother and possibly her brother Ethan.

 
Associated Press

SAN DIEGO -- A massive search entered a sixth day Friday for a man suspected of abducting a 16-year-old family friend as police warned he may have abandoned his car while on the run and rigged it with explosives.

James Lee DiMaggio, 40, may have had an "unusual infatuation" with the missing girl, Hannah Anderson, said San Diego County Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"That is kind of a working theory, that it may be something of a motivator," Fraser said Thursday.

On Sunday night, authorities found the body of Hannah's mother -- 44-year-old Christina Anderson -- when they extinguished flames at DiMaggio's rural home. A child's body also was discovered as they sifted through rubble in Boulevard, a tiny town 65 miles east of San Diego.

The body may be that of Hannah's 8-year-old brother, Ethan. Fraser said it could take several days to identify the badly burned remains. Investigators were unable to extract DNA.

Evidence found in the rubble suggested DiMaggio may have fled with homemade explosives, Fraser said, declining to elaborate on what was discovered. The car may be booby-trapped, he said.

"In the event that someone comes across the car, they need to use caution," Fraser said.

DiMaggio is wanted on suspicion of murder and arson in a search that began in California and spread to Oregon, Washington, Nevada, British Columbia and Mexico's Baja California state. An additional eight FBI agents were assigned to a command post at San Diego sheriff's headquarters, as state and local law enforcement agencies were on alert.

Oregon State Police fielded more than 130 tips after authorities issued an Amber Alert for DiMaggio and his blue Nissan Versa with California license plates. A possible sighting was reported in northeast California near Alturas Wednesday afternoon, followed by another about 50 miles along the same highway near Lakeview, in south-central Oregon.

Fraser, whose office had hundreds of leads on DiMaggio's whereabouts, said the Oregon tip appeared "very credible"

"We're taking it very seriously," he said.

Washington State Patrol responded to reports of sightings on Interstate 5, including the Tacoma area, Vancouver and at least one near Bremerton, said Sgt. Jason Hicks.

Messages seeking DiMaggio and the Anderson children appeared on digital billboards and freeway signs, said Bob Hoever, director of special programs for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Loud tones beeped on mobile phones in the four western states where Amber Alerts were issued.

In Mexico, airports, bus and taxi companies and law enforcement agencies were on the lookout, said Alfredo Arenas, international liaison for the Baja California state police.

"This is a pretty much an all-hands-on-deck effort. It's huge," Fraser said.

DiMaggio, a telecommunications technician at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, was like an uncle to Hannah and Ethan Anderson. He was close to their parents for years.

Christina Anderson's father, Christopher Saincome, said his daughter visited DiMaggio's home to say goodbye before he moved to Texas.

Dawn MacNabb, whose son, Alan, was close friends with Hannah, said Hannah told her son Friday that the Andersons were going to visit DiMaggio at his house before he moved.

"She told him Jim was depressed, that it was his last weekend," MacNabb said.

DiMaggio told Hannah Anderson a couple months ago he had a crush on her and would date her if they were the same age, said Marissa Chavez, 15, a friend who witnessed the remarks when DiMaggio was driving them home from a gymnastics competition. Chavez said Hannah was "a little creeped out by it."

DiMaggio argued with Hannah when he took her alone to Hollywood to celebrate her 16th birthday last month, Chavez and MacNabb said.

MacNabb said DiMaggio occasionally took Hannah and her friends to his house and that she felt uncomfortable enough to warn Christina Anderson.

"She really trusted him," MacNabb said. "I have been concerned for a while. It's not normal behavior."

Brett Anderson, the children's father and Christina's husband, recently moved to Tennessee.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here